What we’re reading: Welcome 2013 edition

I can’t think of a much better way to send off 2012 and welcome 2013 than with a post about books!

We’ve been a bit here-and-there with our reading choices lately.

I’m hoping we’ll start another family novel sometime in January, but we’ve been doing shorter and more varied selections through the holidays, and that’s been nice too.

We did finish Life of Fred: Honey and have moved onto Life of Fred: Ice Cream. Only one more book after that in Fred’s elementary math series, and then it’s on to Life of Fred: Fractions, which we actually acquired a couple of weeks ago from another local homeschooling family! I should mention – while Life of Fred is described as a Christian series, we are a secular homeschooling family and haven’t had any problems using the fairly few spiritual references we’ve found as talking points about what different people believe, which we like to do anyway.

For Christmas, we found a couple of small, short books for Ashar that we thought she’d like. They’re called Unlikely Friendships: The Monkey & The Dove and Unlikely Friendships: The Dog & The Piglet, and they’re excerpted from a longer book, Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom. They’re all written by a science reporter who investigated stories of animals that formed, you guessed it, unlikely friendships. My favorite was the one about Muschi the black cat and Maeuschen the black bear, who lived at a German zoo together from about 2000 until the bear’s death in 2010.

These are both short books – you can read each one aloud in a sitting – but they’ve encouraged us to read more about some of the animals included, which has been neat. Plus, WOW, cute photos!

Ashar also received The 2013 World Almanac for Kids, which I expect will give her many hours of browsing pleasure.

Finally in the “gifts” stack of books for Ashar, there was one of her favorites, The Star Wars Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy. Chris’s mom gets Ashar one of the pop-ups from the series by Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart each year, and this year’s was probably Ashar’s favorite yet!

And, in what I love about homeschooling, we’re interspersing these with a college-level text on the ancient art/science/religion of alchemy, which we found in a used book shop. Alchemy: The Great Secret is pretty cool (and filled with a TON of historic art). Ashar and I have been reading it together and she’s done a lot of research on its parallels with modern chemistry, as well as its ties to Roman mythology and, later, some of the modern religions. This is heavy stuff – but she’s not only grasping it, she’s fascinated! (And, no worries, she is not trying to transmute our kitchen counter into gold.)

On the parental reading front, Chris received for Christmas a copy of the Route 66 Adventure Handbook, and I got a copy of John Holt’s Learning All the Time, which I’d read before from our library but wanted my own copy of.

What’s your family reading?

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10 thoughts on “What we’re reading: Welcome 2013 edition

  1. One on my new favorite Christmas books,(it takes alot to move A Christmas Carol from the top of my list)is the Autobiography of Santa Claus. It starts with St. Nicholas as a boy and travels through history meeting lots of historical people until he becomes Santa Claus.

  2. Hello. New to your blog. So glad to meet you.

    Happy New Year from the soggy Texas coast. We moved here to Texas from Ohio in 2009.

    I put your link on my homeschool blog.

    Looking forward to more posts.

  3. Love your reading posts. I always walk away with ideas. :). Wishing you and your family such a wonderful year full of blessings, love and lots of learning!! I have loved getting to know you and Sarah better!

    • We have the hardcovers of them! They are super-cool. And I got them REALLY cheap – the newspaper where I work part-time has an “employee auction” where any products sent to us for review or as gifts go up for sale. The reporters can’t keep them – but you can bid on them. And all the money goes to the local food bank, which the paper supports. So these were ones that were sent to someone hoping the paper would review them, and whether they did or not I don’t know, but the end result is that I got both hardcovers for something like 51 cents each?! We do a LOT of Christmas shopping in that auction! 😉

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